Should I not be posting pieces from my book dummy on social media?

  • I was wondering if many of the pictures from my book dummy were on social media, it might work against getting a book deal when I pitch it. I assume they would not be interested if the most of the story is up for everyone to see.

    Any thoughts on this?

  • SVS OG

    What I've been told is generally publishers don't want to re-publish anything that has already been published, and that includes, say, an entire dummy PDF posted on the web somewhere. Individual illustrations is more of a grey area, so its something to think about before you post, though posting a few I don't think would be a problem--its if you made the entire book available that it might cause an issue.

    As I said, that is what I have been TOLD. I am definitely not an authority, so take what I say as you choose ;-).

  • @Sarah-LuAnn thanks for the reply. I definitely don't want any roadblocks, so I will follow your advice even if it isn't authoritative 😉

  • Hey @Eric-Castleman,
    I recently sent in a question to this effect to Kathy Temean's Writing and Illustrating blog. She currently has a monthly feature on there where Cat and Chris of the CATugeau agency responds to questions.

    They just responded to mine on the blog yesterday. Here's what Chris said:

    'Danette, an author/illustrator, asked about the protocol with showing images from a book dummy on your site portfolio and other social media. This is actually a very good question and one that needs looking at thoughtfully. It matters if it is YOUR written and illustrated story that YOU are trying to sell, or one you have illustrated for another, or sold to a publisher. First, if the copy rights are still yours, you CAN show it certainly…. doing so might even help you sell it if a buyer sees it there and is interested. But you run the risk of someone ‘borrowing’ the idea if you show too much. (doesn’t happen often…very trustworthy industry…but it does happen) Second, if you have illustrated someone else UNSOLD ms you should get their permission before showing a couple of pieces or characters. Remember, showing sequential, same character images is what helps buyers know what you can do with a narrative story, so you want to show that. Third, if the images are from a SOLD ms with a publisher you MAY NOT show the images (without their permission) until the book is printed! This is very important to know and respect – and legally upheld!'

    BTW - you can still submit questions to Kathy for future blogs, in case anyone has questions they'd like answered!

  • @DanetteDraws thank you for the follow up. This is exactly what I was looking for!

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